What to Do if Your Ex Violates Your Custody Agreement

Your divorce is now finalized and you’ve received a court order that details the child custody arrangement with your ex. Unfortunately, your ex consistently violates your agreement; they pick up your child later than agreed, they keep the child overnight despite court orders, they bad-mouth you in front of the child, and they schedule activities with your child when they’re supposed to be with you. If your ex is guilty of any of these violations, here is what you should do:

  • Talk to your spouse: If you approach the issue calmly, you may be able to come to an agreement with your spouse without having to go to court.
  • Have your attorney send a letter to your ex: If you’re not on good terms with your ex, you can have a lawyer write up a forceful letter that informs your ex that they must obey the court order or face consequences.
  • Request mediation services from the Family Services Office: Contact the court where your child custody case was held and see if they have a Family Services Office. The FSO typically provides mediation services that may help resolve your problems without going to court.
  • Ask the judge to make changes to the custody arrangement: This can be mutually beneficial if your ex constantly violates your custody agreement because they are unhappy with it.
  • File a motion for contempt of court: Your ex will be required to show up in court and explain why they broke the child custody orders. If they are found guilty, they may face fines or sanctions, or even brief imprisonment.
  • Call the police: This should be a last resort, but it is an effective move if your spouse repeatedly violates your custody agreement with no regard.
  • Sue for custody: If all else fails and you are being severely restricted from seeing your child, it may be time to take control.
  • Document everything: Track dates, save electronic documents, or keep a written journal. This information may be necessary if you decide to take legal action against your spouse.

At Burch, Coulston & Shepard, LLP, we understand just how delicate divorces can be. Before taking any serious legal actions, you need to speak to one of our Newport Beach child custody attorneys. We are ready to fight aggressively to protect your parental rights.

To learn more, call (949) 565-4158 or contact us online today!
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